SummerFest- Free E-Class Tutorial- Time to Make the Ghoulies Part Two

Welcome back and Thank you for all the lovely emails!
As we go along (for anyone new joining us) please feel free to drop me an email or leave me a comment with any questions or comments. The comments section has been temporarily placed on moderate- and i will not be posting the comments (for the e-classes only) here on the blog- i have found this makes  people more comfortable, as i want everyone to be confident enough to ask me anything and i will only make reference  by first names- there are no "stupid" questions (Right Alice *wink*) it is "just" art- it won't bite!
Okay then. let's get to it!
...... the Body Armature! (insert scary 'muwahh haa haa' here)

The body armature is actually not as scary or complicated as it may seem. And i will note here that a) i am not the end all, last word on body armatures- like everything, there is more than one way to get it done. b) this is a basic structure, as you go along making dolls and creatures, you will perfect your basic structure and things will get very tricky- but until then, grab two pieces of armature aluminum wire and some masking tape.  yup. that's it.
the length of the wire depends on how "tall" you want your little being to be.
lay your wires next to each other, and start to wrap them together with the masking tape, about 1 to 1.5 inches (2.54cm to 3.81cm) from  the top end of the wires. keep them parallel with one another while wrapping. you want to make as many wraps as you need to keep them securely together. usually about 4 or 5 wraps should do it.
once you have them so they don't "roll" away from each other, and your going
to have to eyeball this one- wrap the length of what would be the distance between
the shoulders and the hips- your basically outlining where the torso will be.
the next step- see photo above- is going to be to bend the two wires apart and
then bend them back again to create, what looks much like a tuning fork, but will
actually become the hips and legs of your little being.
Do NOT glue it on yet, but if you just put your head on the 'neck' you can get a better
feel as to how things are going to look when we are done.
You can keep the head on, because we are going to need it there for placement of the arms,
but for now you can put the head/body aside and grab another piece of armature wire.
the length of the wire is going to be 2x the length of the shoulder to the knee area of your being,
or basically however long you want it to be :o) see that is the beauty of making creatures/dolls-
you can make them look however you want to!
TIP:  armature wire is very... bendy. it is easy to start getting a lot of kinks in it.
here is a super easy way to bend the wire in half  in one shot.
grasp each end of the wire between your thumb and first finger (one in each hand)  so you look
like your ready to conduct an orchestra- and bring your hands down and together and the
wire will follow, so you get this..
now take those two ends again, same position and just ratchet it back and forth in small, fluid
motions. the wire will start to close that camel hump until the two sides just about touch.
give the wire a bit of a flip and bring the two ends back up so it looks
like this...
time to bring back the head/body to the table for a line up:
flip the wire so the hump points down and, giving room for the neck, place the wire behind the body
and Voile'! instant shoulders/arms. now we want to make sure that they
are secure and don't wiggle or fall off- so it's time to bring out the masking tape again

and start wrapping, first the hump to the 'spine' and then up and around both
shoulder parts, and you will see the body start to form up. remember we still
have NOT glued the head into place. it is just rattling around up there, so
be careful not to send it flying while your wrapping with the masking tape.
next, cut another small piece of wire, bend it using the same technique above, only this time
we are placing it around those hips we just made. if you refer to the picture, you will see
one side on top of the body frame, and one side underneath. this is giving the armature some added
support and rigidity- when in doubt- reinforce. you don't want to put all of the hours
into an art doll only to have the main structure fail- a few extra steps in the beginning
will save you a whole lot of swearing in the end!
that being said, what are we going to do? you got it...
wrap him up! masking tape is remarkably strong when used in this
application. it can also be twisted around joints so that the form is strong,
yet still moves freely.
so there you have it. his main body form is almost complete.
now we need to grab some batting...
i like batting, as opposed to fiberfill, because it is easier to wrap and weave around
armature parts when making dolls. it is a personal thing- i don't like lumpy dolls, and the batting
holds itself into place so you don't need additional (insert name of favorite securing
device here) to keep it in place.
so peel off some batting (single layer) and lets get wrapping!
okay. now he's not so skinny! put as much or as little batting as you want to make your
creature as thick or as thin as you like- it's all about your vision when creating art dolls.
me, i'm going to stop here.  i think he is ready for the next step.

we finally get to give him his head!
and i found a pair of hands that were drying and commandeered them
for this project-
make sure you have good air when using your adhesive- it STINKS-
and will give you a headache- so... fresh air!.. lots of it!
i put the wire right into the tube of glue and gob it up good.
i just don't like pieces falling off!
so don't over do it- but use enough adhesive to get the job done.
and if the glue globs over the neck or arms.. no worries- it is going
to be covered up anyway- and at least you know the future owner of your lovely won't
be searching for a hand some day!

ohhhh. creepy, creepy.
okay- so more cute than creepy - we will work on creepy
another day! :o)

okay- remember- shoot me off any questions you may have, next week we will finish these
bad boys up with feet and paint and final wardrobe selection-
have a most excellent week!

live well.
love each other.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Barczynski said...

You are so cool to share this mini class. I've wanted to try making a doll for some time now, but was intimidated. Thank you for simplifying the process. Now I only have to battle my tendency to procrastinate :)